A Right to Information release provided to the Tasmanian Labor party has revealed there are more than 145 vacancies across NRE Tas – around 10% of all positions.
While all organisations have turnover, this is particularly concerning in an organisation that is already short staffed, with so much single person dependency to meet statutory obligations.
The vacancy rate in Parks and Wildlife is approximately 1 in 10. This is very concerning going into the busiest time of the year. PWS staff are dealing with near record numbers of visitors across our Parks and Heritage Areas, while at the same time trying to contain several fires and prepare for the potential of more fires.
Equally concerning is the number of vacancies in the critical Primary Industry and Water portfolio with around 1 in 6 positions currently vacant. This includes important areas such as biosecurity, agriculture, and aquaculture. Making budget savings by not filling jobs in these areas is short sighted and undermines the private sector investment in our agriculture and aquaculture industries. It’s peak fruit harvesting season: we need all hands on-deck to protect the state against incursions from fruit fly, blueberry rust, foot in mouth, lumpy skin and varroa mite, with record numbers arriving at our airports and seaports. There is no doubt our border faces greater risk with so many vacant positions.
145 vacancies equate to a salary saving of well over $10m. From a budget perspective there is a disincentive for Agencies to keep positions filled, particularly as so many staff go above and beyond to cover vacancies and ensure Tasmanians get the vital service they need. Are you being taken for granted?
Did you know the Award requires Agencies to fill vacant positions within 3 months and if it appears likely this period will be exceeded, the Agency is required to consult with affected employees, providing reasons why the vacancy hasn’t been filled and advising how work will be managed without allocating other staff work the exceeds what can be undertaken in their normal working hours? When was the last time you were consulted about a vacancy exceeding 3 months?
Tell us about vacancies in your workplace and how they are managed by email to email@example.com.